Pre-Trial Motions

Consult a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Learn what Motions Might Apply to Your Case

A seasoned Clearwater criminal defense attorney may be able to identify and file a pre-trial motion that could significantly benefit your case. When developing a defense to your case, the lawyers at Hanlon Law strive to get your charges dismissed or severely reduced by filing such motions. A well-prepared and appropriate motion could bring a speedy and favorable end to your case while saving you the expense, stress and anxiety associated with going to trial. Hiring a defense lawyer with experience protecting clients’ constitutional rights can sometimes make all the difference in your case.

Motions to Dismiss

A motion to dismiss may be filed in numerous circumstances. If you are charged with a crime for which you have previously been tried, you may be entitled to file a motion to dismiss based on the concept of “Double Jeopardy.” You may also be entitled to file a motion to dismiss if the prosecutors have brought charges against you after the statute of limitations for the charge has expired or if the time for a speedy trial has elapsed and you have not been brought to trial.

One of the most common motions to dismiss is referred to as a C4 motion as it is allowed under Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure 3.190(C)(4). When all of the facts in a case are undisputed or agreed upon by the State and the Defense, your lawyer can file a C4 motion to dismiss arguing that the agreed facts do not establish that a criminal act was committed by the accused. With this type of motion, the defendant must swear to the truth of the facts presented. A C4 motion to dismiss is often filed in cases where the law is complex or unclear. It is important to find a defense attorney who can identify when such a motion would be appropriate.

Motions to Suppress

A common and effective pre-trial motion is the motion to suppress evidence. The United States Constitution provides in the Fourth Amendment that we are to be safe in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures….” This means that you have a Constitutional right not to have your person, home, vehicle, computer or phone searched or taken by the police unless they have a warrant or probable cause that you committed a criminal offense.

A skillful Clearwater defense attorney will be able to identify if your Constitutional right against unreasonable searches or seizures was violated and will take action. For example, if you are pulled over by an officer while driving for a traffic offense that you did not commit, and drugs or other contraband are found in your vehicle, your lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress that evidence arguing that the initial traffic stop violated your constitutional rights. If your property is searched pursuant to a search warrant, an experienced attorney will be able to determine whether the warrant was issued illegally or if evidence was seized that was not within the scope of the warrant.

Under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, we also have the right to remain silent and the right to representation by a lawyer. Sometimes police officers will attempt to obtain evidence from you in violation of these rights. If an investigator obtains evidence or a confession from you without informing you of your rights, or if you are denied access to an attorney, an experienced defense lawyer may be able to file a motion to exclude that evidence from your case. The more evidence your lawyer is able to suppress, the more likely it will be that your case will be dismissed or that you will reach a favorable outcome.

Stand Your Ground

Florida has an especially broad right to self defense and defense of others. If you are charged with an offense like battery, assault or even murder, you may be able to file a motion to dismiss under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law. Under this law, if you are accused of committing a crime, but you acted in defense of yourself or others, the attorneys at Hanlon law may choose to file a motion to dismiss based on the Stand Your Ground Law. Currently, once such a motion is filed, the Prosecution has the burden to prove with clear and convincing evidence that the accused did not act in self-defense. The Stand Your Ground motion is a powerful tool in the hands of an experienced Clearwater criminal defense lawyer.

Discuss the Motions that Could Help Your Case With an Experienced Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney

The lawyers at Hanlon law have years of experience drafting and arguing all manner of pretrial motions. We look forward to evaluating your case today. Contact Hanlon law at (727) 897-5413.